Team USA vs. the Democratic People’s Republic of China, Live Blog

nomuskles —  August 10, 2008

If you haven’t checked out HP’s entertaining live blog during the Spain vs. Greece game, check it out. Spain won pretty handily but didn’t exactly light the arena on fire. Their guard play was pretty good and I agree with HP, Rudy was very impressive. But overall, they weren’t the dominant force you would’ve expected given the hype.

1st Quarter

The crowd is so loud. There are probably 2008 people in attendance.

Yao Ming drains a straight away three pointer. This could be a very awkward game if Yao turns into a sharpshooter from distance. Only because he’s going to be breaking out the Tiger Woods fist pump after all of his makes.

Kobe, who has been tasked with guarding Lakers signee Sun Yue, just shot a corner three off the side of the backboard. Well, I’m sold, Team USA is clearly going to win the gold.

Yao Ming is playing like a man possessed by Allen Iverson’s spirit. He’s diving all around and running full speed.

Mike Breen informs us that FIBA has decided to go with three officials on the floor, instead of the usual 2. They should go with 2008 of them.

Number 6 on the Chinese team drains a super tough three pointer. I was thinking this game was going to be a blowout and Team USA would just walk away with this one and I could make all kinds of jokes about Kobe carrying Dywane Wade home, accidently mistaking his bald head for the Larry O’Brien trophy. Apparently so did team USA.

China has been mad impressive so far. Yao just stuffed the Mamba.

Doug Collins has some keys to the game. And they display the keys in a graphic that looks like the inside of a volcano. I want to know what was going on at that design meaning.

Executive 1: Hey, China’s main color is red. let’s use that.

Executive 2: Okay. And let’s add some fire.

E1: No too cliche. How about Lava.

E2: Yeah. Lava is badass.

E1: Maybe we don’t want too much red in there. People’s eyes will bleed. How about, sky blue?

E2: Done and done. These people are going to love it. Do you think anyone will suspect we’re board members of the Volcano Tourism Committee?

E1: Heh Heh Heh. Why so serious?

Kobe just nailed a long three point shot from the left wing.

COOKIES! Wade is going with the double kneepad look tonight. He just picked Number 7’s pocket out high. Free two points. Wade’s resurgence has absolutely been the story of team USA so far this Olympic season.

China is not only surviving on the three pointer, China is only trailing by 2 at the 3:20 mark.

#4, Chen, does a little Ginobili European shuffle through the lane and Team USA celebrates with some matador defense. Bravo Bravo.

HAHAHAHA. Chris Paul just got sent flying by a mean pick by Yao Ming. It was totally awesome.

Sun Yue is suppsed to be the Chinese Magic Johnson, but Mike Breen just said #8 is the best ball handler. Not necessarily a good thing for the Lakers to find out that their new PG hope isn’t even the best ball handler on a sub par team.

Oh look, Coach K got off his chair to coach a little. But he won’t call time out? What a cocky poop face.

President George Bush, the elder, is in attendance. So is the current President.

That floor is kind of a mini travesty. Especially the half on the right side of the TV. People have been slipping too often. Most notably, the Greek point guard, Spanoulis can now send in an audition tape for that show on ABC; Wipeout (the one with the big red balls). He had a clear breakaway and his footing just gave way. He didn’t even try to change direction. Just running in a straight line. There was more spectacular spillage on that play than at a lingerie store in Beverly Hills.

#4, Chen JH tries a little HORSE shot and the refs disallow it. “off the shot clock, off the back of the backboard, nothing but net.” That was what he called. Execution lacked a little bit. The ball didn’t come close to going in. A for effort though buddy.

 

2nd Quarter

Yao Ming is looking svelt. But he’s still rocking baby cows for legs.

Dwight Howard shoots some good looking free throws.

I’m so glad that we’ve got real basketball announcers. You should’ve heard the announcers from earlier…hold on.

Lebron James just pwned China. He CAUGHT a China layup attempt two-handed and sent it down the length of the floor for an easy dunk by Wade! A block would’ve been spectacular. But this was unbelievable athletic. Kevin Love has nothing on that sequence, including his much fancied outlet pass.

As D12 is shooting free throws Wang ZZ throws his hands up like a reverse Cameron Crazy. Dwight misses. I love it.

Apparently in Olympic play you are allowed to two hand shove people in the waist as long as they don’t have the ball.

I’m happy to see Redd in the game. Hopefully he’ll get some real playing time.

Magic Johnson drills a three pointer. That’s 7 of 11 from behind the three point arc for China.

So back to the point about announcers. Sometimes on the basketball channel there are no announcers. And sometimes, like during the spain vs. Greece game, we get assaulted by Snapper Jones and some other guy calling the game from New York. Speaking of that game, How come no one told me Marc Gasol is a fatty? And the announcers even said he had slimmed down tremendously. That’s absurd. There is no way he is going to be a force in the NBA. Unless you are counting the mass * acceleration type of force. He’s got plenty of that.

Kobe sends a brief memo to his future teammate, Magic Johnson 2.0, that he’s not a nancy boy by dunking in his face. Magic Johnson, it should be noted, is wearing a magic arm sleeve. Maybe he forgot to put in the batteries.

Craig Sager is not wearing his trademark crazy suits. He’s just wearing a regular button up shirt with the top button undone. He’s interviewing Jerry Colangelo who says that it’s just about the US staying focused on their own play and not worrying about who they are playing. Isn’t that the same cockiness that got us in trouble before? Confidence is great, but seriously, we haven’t won a major competition in years! EXASPERATION!

Dwyane Wade leaves number 10 WIDE OPEN behind the three point line to double on Yao Ming away from the basket. Wade forgot to read the game plan, don’t leave the shooters.

Jason Kidd reaches into the time machine and throws a great over the top pass to Chris Bosh through all kinds of traffic. It’s the kind of pass you get in trouble for if you play organized ball at the youth level because it is such a low percentage pass. 2 points.

Dwyane Wade to Lebron James for a vicious one handed alleyoop. Team USA turns up the pressure. And gets a turnover. 16-3 run helps the good guys pull away a little. 45-32. With about 2 minutes to go.

Yao Ming disposed of Chris Bosh going after a rebound. Just took his left arm and pushed him to the ground. No foul called. Chris Bosh, it’s time to man up.

Wade might be earning his nickname back: Flash. Nice baseline semi fast break finish against Yao Ming. It was speedy and delicious.

Carlos Boozer checks into the game, but disappointingly for Kyle, he’s not in there with DWill and there’s only 27 seconds left anyway.

Liu Wei is apparently Yao Ming’s best friend. They make s’mores in their dorm rooms and share bedtime stories while drinking hot cider. At least I hope that’s what happens.

Coach K actually does call a timeout to draw up a last second play and it ends with Kobe picking up his pivot foot apparently. Up until that point it looked very good. Traveling is very different than in the NBA apparently. Team USA goes into the Olympic sized locker room leading by a dozen. They put up 29 points that quarter.

Team USA is 1/12 on three pointers. That’s not going to get it done in the tournament. But they are forcing China into shooting a low overall percentage.

Halftime

My friend who’s watching the game on the east coast right now said that the NBA on NBC theme song makes its way back into the fold, but so far I haven’t heard it. And you have no idea how disappointed I am. That song is permanently ingrained in my parietal lobe somewhere. John Tesh, you are my hero. Maybe it isn’t on because I’m watching the special basketball-only channel which doesn’t even show commercials. (It just shows replays or a wide angle shot of the inside of the arena. No, they don’t seem to do halftime promotions where little kids try on Yao Ming’s shoes and race up and down the court. If you were curious.) Anyway, NBC has decided to tape delay their “real” coverage of the game for the West Coast so I’ll check it out again at 10am. Finding out what time a game is actually going to be on is tough enough. Finding out what time it is going to broadcast, is even tougher. If you wanted to watch Russia vs. Iran yesterday, you would’ve set your tivo to start recording the basketball channel at 6pm. But the joke’s on you brother! For some reason, NBC showed the games all out of order. Well technically, you could’ve watched the first 8 minutes of the game without commentary (which is very eerie) but then NBC pulled the feed. I have no idea what was the point of that. NBC’s Olympic coverage is really frustrating if you are trying to find a specific matchup in a specific sport. That being said, I love that the Olympics are in HD goodness.

 

3rd Quarter

Kobe starts it off right with a drive and dunk. Snakes can strike at any time.

Hahahaha. Doug Collins is doggin Yi and all of a sudden Yi dunks the putback over Melo’s back. Damn son. There might be problems bigger than snitchin if you’re gonna let Yi do that to you.

Magic Johnson just stuffed Dwight Howard’s fast break layup attempt. Ridiculous. The batteries are workin now!

I like the USA basketball jerseys and I even thought about buying one until I found out the replica version costs $80 and the authentic version costs $150. I’m not a baller. I gotta say though, whose idea was it to make white names on a white jersey and blue names on the blue jersey? Someone had to have thought “you know, this might be IMPOSSIBLE TO READ.”

China’s hyperdunks aren’t quite so hyper anymore. It’s 60-45 with 3:20 left to go in the third.

Everyone shortens their breaths a little as Yao Ming twists his ankle on Kobe, who had fallen under the basket. Yao gets up gingerly but it doesn’t look too serious. Probably just sore for a few days.

Kobe gets a fast break opportunity and does the simple one handed jam. The crowd is a little disappointed. They were expecting a back flip due to the hyperdunks.

Dwyane wade picks another pocket. This time he tries a fancy reverse dunk. Lebron should win MVP of this game but Wade/Flash has definitely had a positive impact, especially on defense/transition.

Yao Ming is back in the game looking fine. He might be favoring his ankle just a little.

Couple of noteable Jazz notes here. Deron Williams just tried to posterize Yao. He came up a little short. Coming back the other way, Boozer did his classic Boozerness. He reached and fouled a guy going to the basket.

Yao Ming apparently didn’t appreciate the DWill dunk attempt and just roofed DWill’s layup. Aww, stupid refs called a foul. That wasn’t a foul. Just awesomeness. There is no charge for awesomeness. Or Attractiveness.

President Bush declares mission accomplished and he’s out of here. 81 – 50 is the score. Unlike a previous declaration of mission accomplished, this one will probably stick.

You gotta be proud of Yao. Even though China won’t win this game, he is still playing his heart out and the fans love him for it. He’s been fighting for rebounds. Refusing to concede baskets on defense. And he goes out to a rousing ovation. Goose bumps people. With perhaps 500 million Chinese people watching on television, there is a lot of pressure on this team. And they’ve done very admirably this morning.

Most Impressive US Players: Lebron James and Dwyane Wade.

Most Impressive Chinese Players: Yao Ming and Yi Jianlian. Honorable Mention Liu Wei for not turning over the ball in the face of that intense US ball pressure.

 

-nomuskles

nomuskles

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9 responses to Team USA vs. the Democratic People’s Republic of China, Live Blog

  1. Sun Yue showed a little promise. He hit a couple mid range J (3 pters in FIBA) and showed some athleticism bu stuffing Howard. That was pretty awesome, you won’t see anyone do that very often.

    Yao looks like he is trying to get back into shape. Maybe Yao playing in the Olympics will be good for Houston, because he will be able to play himself back into shape.

    China played hard but they are not need enough to keep up with the USA.

    James is a freak of nature. He was made by Nike. Thats the only explanation for someone to have that combination of speed, size, strength and ball handling ability. When he is in the open court there is no stopping him, he is just too strong. He was pretty impressive tonight.

    Kobe looked a little shaky. Missed a lot of outside shots. And he gambled a lot on D. Maybe thats because he didn’t have a great player to guard.

    Bosh looked good fighting for rebounds on the inside.

  2. Roundball Rock!!

  3. Roundball rock did make it into the feed on NBC. Ahh, a little bit of harmonious balance is restored.

  4. As a longtime Kobe fan, it pains me to say it, but I think Lebron is equal to or better than Mamba at this time. The torch has been passed.

  5. Great live blog! It was cool to see NBC utilize Tesh’s Roundball Rock.

    Speaking of the Olympics, check out this Jones on the NBA post on VC’s dominance in the 2000 Olympics:

    http://jonesonthenba.blogspot.com/2008/08/vince-carter-greatest-usa-olympic.html

  6. Speaking of goosebumps, that’s certainly what I got when I heard the NBA on NBC music…

  7. A nomuskles game blog and the return of the Roundball Rock? It can’t get any better.

  8. maybe the white on white and blue on blue is part of the whole ‘team’ concept. they make it impossible to read what’s on the back because it’s not about the name on the back, but the name on the front.